By Author, Rob Peach
Who’s training your brain?
We don’t think twice about investing our time and energy into developing workouts designed to optimize our physical health and well-being, but it often doesn’t occur to most us to make the same sort of investment in our mental and emotional health.
Traditionally, while mental health professionals recognized the psychological benefits of physical activity, there hasn’t been a lot of attention paid to the relationship between exercise and our capacity for emotional regulation. The good news, however, is that is changing!
For myself, I know that after I hit a huge back squat during an early morning workout, nothing I encounter during my day seems as overwhelming or unmanageable as it might have otherwise felt.
Moreover, the same cognitive skills I use to hit that back squat, including being present in the moment, being aware of my thoughts and carefully monitoring my body’s response to the stress of the lift, are the same skills I apply to the challenges I encounter trying to balance an often hectic schedule.
By being mindful, or focusing on our thoughts, emotions and sensations as they occur, we are better able to be both intentional and purposeful in our actions and better able to understand and manage our emotions, rather than feel controlled by them.
Relationship issues, problems with mood and anxiety and difficulties with the use of alcohol or other substances can get in the way of you developing the capacity to achieve a sense of well-being in your life.
While we know that these issues can negatively impact our ability to preform optimally at work, at home and in the context of meaningful relationships, we often forget how damaging they can be on our levels of activity and health.
Having a trusted therapist can help you to feel less alone with your feelings, to develop the capacity to control and regulate emotions and to feel more confident in talking with others about your struggles.
Moreover, in therapy you can further develop your ability to diffuse difficult emotions, to manage thoughts, urges and feelings that are not consistent with your goals and values and increase your capacity to be fully present to experience each moment of your life.
Intentional, purposeful and mindful approaches to emotional wellness can translate into increased satisfaction with your physical activity. Improved physical wellness can result in an increase in your ability to manage stress, more satisfying relationships and your ability to connect with what you value most in life.
Have you been struggling with difficult emotional issues? Have they been affecting your motivation or ability to engage with others in a meaningful and authentic way? Do you feel ‘trapped’ by your thoughts and emotions, rather than able to manage their impact on your life?
If you find yourself saying ‘yes’ to any of these questions, then therapy might be right for you. Contact me today to talk about setting up an individualized treatment plan to support your capacity to achieve your optimal levels of physical, mental and emotional wellness.